Plot: Delay slowly and skillfully builds suspense through uncommon circumstances and characters, unveiling public and private secrets—some quite benign, others explosive. The novel unfolds in a manner reminiscent of a play, with crisp dialogue, theatrical introduction of characters, and descriptions that mimic stage directions. Looming behind the individual dramas unfolding between players in the novel is the greater issue at hand—the neighboring home invasion epidemic.
Prose: Delay incorporates a variety of literary devices into this ambitious project, including soliloquies, correspondence between characters, and dramatic writing. The layers of texture in the prose create a playful and unexpected reading experience.
Originality: Darkly absurd humor, a unique concept, and wonderfully eccentric characters result in a highly original and entertaining novel.
Character Development: From the “roll call” introduction of each resident to the eventual discussion of their intertwined relationships, Delay’s novel offers a theatrical mosaic of diverse characters facing existential and interpersonal conflicts and crises.
Date Submitted: May 18, 2018
A BOOK TO MAKE YOU LAUGH . . .
INVASIONS ON HICKORY ROAD BY JIM DELAY
Review by Patrick Nicholas
Invasions on Hickory Road is a mystical yet insightfully comic story of the folks who live in a sunny suburban neighborhood.
On Hickory Road all the houses are numbered, and all the people who live behind the numbers have stories. Some of their stories are hidden away in their hearts, in their closet, in bureau drawers, as secrets they can’t tell. They keep them only for themselves, only to ponder in the dark, behind their windows, inside curtains, in their memories, their wishing, their silence.
But before there were numbers on these houses, before there were houses or roads at all, there were secrets in this place. Those secrets will still be here long after memories of the numbered houses are gone. There are things here that none of us can reach; they’re hidden inside realities we don’t yet know.
You’ll meet the hilarious, unpredictable adults, children, and pets who live in the 33 houses along Hickory Road as Alicia Baker takes a walk up and down the cul-de-sac. She’ll tell you some things about them, and the author will tell you something Alicia doesn’t know.
Many of these characters appear in subsequent chapters as they criss-cross in an out of one another’s lives in ways that are sometimes absurdly funny and sometimes heartwarming.
After you read this book, you might start to think about the hidden realities of your own life and the world around you.
Available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.